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'Gangs in prison are controlling the streets on the outside'

The Prison Officers Association is calling for power to be removed from gangs in prison.

Image: prison image via Shutterstock

FOLLOWING ON FROM the recent shootings in Dublin earlier this week, prison officers are calling for criminal gangs in prisons to be addressed.

The Prison Officers Annual Delegate Conference in Athlone last night heard how prison gangs are terrorising both prisoners and prison officers, while also having power to control what happens on the outside.

POA President Stephen Delaney said, ”These gangs are an ongoing threat to prison officers and make the life of those prisoners, who seem to be weaker, an absolute hell.

“In this environment, we have threats, assaults, drugs, weapons, attacks on families – and the capacity to control matters outside the prison.

If we reduce the power of these gangs in prison we also restrict their capacity to control matters on the outside – so all of society will benefit.

Delaney said the entire prison system is failing society if power is not removed from the the gang members within the prisons.

He added that as it stands gang membership is flaunted in prisons to intimidate neutral prisoners.

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The president questioned why the gang members are not isolated and kept apart from the general prison population.

The issue is expected to be debated at the prison officers conference today.

We’ll be reporting from this year’s Prison Officers Annual Delegate Conference in Athlone, so keep an eye out and follow @CliodhnaRussell for updates.

Read: Gangland bloodshed: Incensed residents call for inner city garda station to be reopened>

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